I like to drive. Radio on. Sun glinting off the windshield. Thoughts racing randomly. In fact I get some of my best ideas in the car. For some people (like my husband) it's the shower, but I'm a car girl. There's something about the split focus of it that I find freeing. You instinctively know how to drive; if you're me, you've been doing it for more than twenty years. You know where you're going. You're on auto-pilot. After a while your mind just glides from one subject to next, until it starts circling one idea. Honing it. Perfecting it. It's almost subconscious. You just kind of hit this sublime place that I can never quite get to sitting at a desk.
The other day, while driving to the Mommy/Baby play group, when I had just about gotten to that perfect mental space. I was beginning to feel the germination of a fantastic idea, when "Ack!", yes, "Ack!", came from the back seat. Still in my zone, I subconsciously "Ack!"-ed back and was met with a return "Dada dida dida do". Well, as you can imagine, this pulled me out my own head. I thought for a moment and realized that the polite thing to do was to respond, so I threw a "dada dida dida do" right back. To which my little passenger responded "ba ACK da!" So I replied, and thus started a twenty minute exchange. It seems the conversation with Dash has begun.
About a month and a half ago he started waving bye-bye. But it's turned into more of a "hi" wave, which I have to say I'm much happier with. I mean, who thought it was a good idea to teach babies "bye-bye". Think about it, if you were a baby why would you ever want to practice that skill? Every time you do it, the person you were just playing with leaves. How horrible. I'm much more delighted by his combo wave/high-five thing when I enter a room.
After he kind of got the wave-thing down, we started him on sign language. He recognizes the signs for drink and eat, but has yet to model them himself. Maybe someday. We'll see. I've also tried to teach him the sign for "no more" (hand parallel to the floor, palm down, wave back and forth) but he's come up with his own version in the last couple days (head turned as far to the side as possible, nose in the air, lower lip jutted out, back arched and sometimes he makes his face turn bright red just to punctuate it.)
But even if sign language doesn't work out for him, I think he'll be all right. The kid is a talker. He started babbling at 2 1/2 - 3 months and just last week he really kicked into gear. Talking in tub, talking while playing, talking in the stroller, obviously, talking in the car. He talks and talks and talks. (And it's getting louder and louder!)
And he listens. He definitely recognizes simple commands, as well as a few all-time favorite words like "Arlo" (our dog) and "car". In fact, my in-laws swear they've heard him say "Arlo" and I definitely think I've heard it too. (Isn't that great... not mama or dada, in a discriminate way. It's Arlo. The dog trumps us every time and all he has to do is show up. We're the ones doing a freakin' tap dance. Thanks a lot kid!)
I'm intrigued to see where this all goes. How it evolves. I love that we're beginning to "talk". I hope it's a conversation that lasts the rest of my life.
Today we went to Charlie's first birthday party. Although Dash and Charlie are little too young to talk to each other, they did communicate in other ways: Dash enjoyed poking at Charlie's overall buttons and Charlie, the little thief, had a good time stealing Dash's hat! Since it was his party, we restrained ourselves from pressing charges. Just kidding, Charlie. (But we'll definitely be wearing a hat with a chin strap next time we meet!)